GDS Information Sheet

Please read the information included on this information sheet very carefully; it contains information you will need while you are an Arkansas Governor's Distinguished Scholar.  This document will remain available for future reference through your Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) account.  You can also print the document if you desire a copy for your personal records.
Notification of your Governor's Distinguished Scholar Award will be sent to the institution indicated in your ADHE account in time for your fall registration.  Funds will not be sent until after the institution verifies enrollment after the 11th class day and notifies ADHE of the status.  ADHE will then request funds and send them to your institution where they will be disbursed in accordance with your institution’s disbursement policies.

Conditions of your Arkansas Governor's Distinguished Scholar Award:

1. You or one parent must be a bona fide resident of Arkansas and you must be a U. S. citizen or a permanent resident alien.

2. You must attend an eligible institution of higher education in Arkansas.  If you decide to transfer to another Arkansas school, log into your ADHE account, edit your profile, and change the school you will be attending.   You will be sent an e-mail confirming the change.  Changes must be accomplished by October 1 for the fall term and February 1 for the spring term.  Failure to make the transfer by that date will result in the loss of your award for that term.

3. You must enroll in an approved public or private Arkansas institution for twelve (12) semester hours in the first fall semester following high school graduation and fifteen (15) semester hours every semester thereafter, excluding correspondence courses, to receive the scholarship for that semester.  Enrollment will be verified after the 11th class day and any classes added after that point will not count toward the total hours required.  You must be enrolled in the required number of credit hours at one institution each semester; the scholarship will not be divided among multiple campuses in a semester.  This requirement pertains to enrollment and receipt of scholarship funds for each semester and is a separate requirement from the requirements for renewal in the following paragraph.

4. Your Governor's Distinguished Scholar Award will be awarded for a total of four (4) years provided funding is available and you maintain a minimum 3.25 cumulative college grade point average on a 4.0 scale and complete a minimum of twenty seven (27) semester hours in your freshman year and thirty (30) semester credit hours per academic year thereafter.  If you have not completed the required hours, or if your cumulative grade point average falls short of 3.25 at the end of the spring semester, you may enroll in summer school, at your expense, following the spring term to meet the requirement.  The academic year consists of fall, spring and summer terms in that order.  It is your responsibility to furnish an official transcript to ADHE by September 15 of that year.

5. It is your responsibility to keep your ADHE account current.  Such responsibility includes notification of withdrawal from school, change of residence, change of institution, name or address, or any other change that would affect your continued award eligibility.  Changes that cannot be made in your account must be submitted to ADHE in writing.

6. You will receive your Governor's Distinguished Scholar Award funds from your institution after they have verified that you are enrolled in the required number of credit hours, which will not occur until after the 11th class day.  Your award will be the price of tuition, mandatory fees, room and board, up to $10,000 per year, and will be disbursed in equal disbursements, on a semester basis, in accordance with the disbursement schedule of the institution you are attending.

7. The Department of Higher Education may approve a scholarship hold for a student for a period of twenty-four (24) months or less for the following reasons without limitation:

(1) A medical condition of the student or of a member of the student’s immediate family that, on the basis of a physician’s good-faith judgment, necessitates that the student or the student’s immediate family member be hospitalized or receive outpatient or home-based medical care or recuperate until released by the attending physician;
(2) A personal or family emergency that requires the student to:
(A) Attend the funeral of an immediate family member; or
(B) Visit a relative of the student if the relative has a  medical condition in which death is possible or imminent;
(C) Military service under § 6-61-112; or
(4)(A) A commitment of twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) months for service in a national or international humanitarian project sponsored by a nonprofit corporation organized with a charitable or educational purpose.
(B) The student’s commitment shall be expressed in a 1 written agreement with the nonprofit organization, including the terms of completion for the student’s service on the related project.
(C) The department shall release a scholarship hold if the department determines that the student did not complete the commitment under  the written agreement.

8. Students participating in co operative education programs must notify the Arkansas Department of Higher Education prior to every semester they will not be enrolled as a full time student.  Notification is the responsibility of the student, not the institution.  Governor's Distinguished Scholar Award funds will be held for these students provided they are participating in the work portion of the co operative education program during the semesters they are not enrolled as a full time student.

9. As a condition of this award, students must agree to provide the following information for up to 10 years to the Arkansas Department of Higher Education after completion of the scholarship program: permanent address, year of college completion, occupation, employer and employer’s address.

10. Students who complete their baccalaureate degree in less than four (4) academic years may transfer their scholarship to an Arkansas graduate school, or post-graduate programs in dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine, podiatry, chiropractic, or osteopathy under agreement with the Board of Control for Southern Regional Education.  In no case, may the total award exceed four (4) years of payment.

11. Governor's Distinguished Scholar Award funds must be used for expenses related to your education.  Please review the ADHE stacking policy located on the ADHE website at You may be affected by this policy if you are receiving scholarship funds from other sources.